Last week Wales Online did a feature called ‘9 reasons critics are calling Ken Loach’s new movie ‘I, Daniel Blake’ the must-see movie of the year’
Of the 9 good reasons, most I could agree with. If you want a hard-hitting film, made by a great film director then this is the one to see. I can’t argue with that.
However, I couldn’t help feeling that Media Wales had missed the point that good filmmaking should inspire you to act.
The reason you need to see this is simple – you need to rage.
Ken Loach doesn’t make films to make you feel good. He’s not interested in how many complacent “likes” you give it on Facebook or how many 140 character tweets you make agonising over the ‘deeper messages and themes’ before returning to your everyday life.
He made films like ‘Cathy Come Home’ to challenge our ideas and change how we think.
Don’t go and see ‘I, Daniel Blake’ and then go home and carry on as normal. Loach wants you to react, to respond, to get angry. He wants you to rage. And then be a part of change.
I can’t tell you what that change should be, but whatever you decide to do, do it well.
I also want to make an additional point – not enough cinemas are showing this film – please ‘shop local’ and support the ones that are.
Cineworld have has 217 cinemas and a total of 2,000 screens – they are showing it in 7. None are in Wales.
Odeon have over 100 cinemas and over 850 screens- they are showing it in 23 of them. None are in Wales.
Vue are only showing it in 3 venues in the whole UK. None of those are in Wales.
Of the chains, the only one screening the film in Wales is Showcase in Nantgarw, which has it showing for 2 midweek nights.
Wales has always had weak independent media; however, we do have some great Art/Indie/Community cinemas that show some incredible films. Check out your local independent cinema and see if they are showing ‘I, Daniel Blake’. And if they’re not, give them a call and ask them why not. Recently, over the summer I was disappointed to learn that my local indie cinema was not showing a new Welsh language film. I called them and tweeted them and as a result a few weeks later they did a 3-night run that was close to being sold out each night.
Fortunately, some places in Wales don’t disappoint and are showcasing Loach’s latest offering. For those living near Cardiff, Chapter in Canton are impressively screening it 3 times a day for 2 whole weeks. If you live nearby, you have no excuse. Aberystwyth Arts Centre is showing it from the 28th October to 6th November; Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea are showing it in early December.
Up north, your options include Neuadd Dwyfor in Pwllheli, who are screening it on the 11-12th November; Theatr Clwyd on the 22nd 23rd November whilst Neuadd Buddug in Bala are showing it on the 25th,26th & 30th of November. The Galeri in Caernarfon is showing it on 14th December – perhaps not exactly conducive to Christmas cheer and excess, but to me, that’s exactly the point.
If this is the first you’ve heard of this film, but I’ve caught your attention, click the link here to see the official trailer. Then book and see the film.
The Guardian’s review https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/oct/23/i-daniel-blake-ken-loach-review-mark-kermode